Lil Adams is our Sunday studios manager and is a silversmith who loves wax carving. She decided to try one of our metal clay classes to see what she thought!
I’m usually one who likes to bash away at silver or cast a random object. But I I couldn’t resist the evening taster course in Metal Clay at London Jewellery School to see what all the fuss is about.
Metal clay is a little bit like magic. The material goes from being very much a malleable clay to a very much set solid silver. Which is still a surprise even though you know it will happen. It can be soldered onto, but also pieces can be attached with water before the heating process. This is a very versatile material to experiment with, it can be used to set stones, enamelled onto and have gold added to it. There are different types of metal clay, like paper clay that can be folded for delicate creations or origami shapes and metal clay that comes in a syringe used to make hollow beads or add detail. It’s a great way to make impressive results quickly. There is no waste, as any extra metal clay pieces can be ground down to use again. Metal clay can take a deep pattern that might be tricky to achieve from sheet metal and fine prints from fingerprints or even feathers. Larger pieces do need a kiln, there may be one accessible to you in your local area, and it’s worth trying community colleges if you are not quite ready to invest in your own.
Ring made from a leftover blob with stamped ampersand symbol.
So what’s the verdict for me and metal clay? I think it’s such a versatile material I would like to experiment with it more to try out different possibilities. It’s good to have my fingerprint in the metal clay pie in case a design idea I have would work best with metal clay. If my hammering arm tires or the noise starts to really annoy my neighbours I will definitely try immersing myself in the magical world of metal clay. As there are 9 other metal clay courses taught a London Jewellery School there is enough to get any metalhead fired up.
Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting. You can see her work on Instagram @smalltoad_jewellery